Thursday, November 9, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 11/10/17
Featured image: 1001 N. 2nd Ave. in Maywood, which could be a local landmark by the end of this month. | Redfin
The former home of a prominent Maywood politician, and which is currently owned by a well-known high school basketball coach, is on its way to becoming a local landmark.
On Nov. 2, the village’s Historic Preservation Commission unanimously recommended that the Board of Trustees vote to designate 1001 N. 2nd Ave. in Maywood with the status.
The Prairie Style house was designed by John Van Bergen, who once worked for Frank Lloyd Wright. It was built at around 1922 by Edward and Noreen Vrizzola.
The architecturally significant home used to belong to the late Eugene “Gene” Moore, a lifelong Maywood resident who was the first African American to represent the 7th District in the Illinois House of Representatives and the Cook County Recorder of Deeds from 1999 until 2012.
Currently, it’s owned by Marshall High School girls varsity basketball coach Dorothy Gaters, a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and among the winningest basketball coaches in Illinois High School Association (IHSA) history.
“This is one of our very significant homes around here,” said Tom Kus, the Historic Preservation Commission’s chairman during a Nov. 7 regular meeting of the Maywood Board of Trustees.
Kus said that Gaters has “put a lot of money into improving this house.” If the board votes to approve the designation, the home would be the 24th structure designated a local landmark in Maywood. Seventeen Maywood homes are currently on the National Register of Historic Places, according to Kus.
Joshua Koonce, Maywood’s village planner, said that during the Nov. 2 public hearing held on the home, the Gaters and neighboring homeowners spoke about the property and the current efforts to enhance it.
“It’s a beautiful home, I have seen the exterior,” Koonce said, adding that the home, if designated a landmark, would be named after its first owners.
Kus added that the home’s assessor value dropped “quite a bit” after Moore left.
The local landmark designation, Kus said, will allow the current owner of the home to apply for a property tax freeze. The owner may also be eligible for “income tax credits for historically appropriate renovations,” according to the commission’s web page.
“No is being relieved of their taxes, they still pay taxes every year,” said Kus, responding to a expressed by Trustee Ron Rivers about whether or not the freeze allows the homeowner to avoid paying property taxes.
According to Landmarks Illinois, the nonprofit that advocates for historic structures, the tax freeze “gives the owner of a locally landmarked or National Register-listed historic home the opportunity to have the assessed valuation of the property frozen for eight years at its level the year a qualified renovation on the home takes place.”
“The eight-year tax relief freezes taxes to pay back for the homeowner’s investment in the property,” Kus said. “It more than pays for itself.”
The Board of Trustees is expected to vote on the landmark designation at its next regular meeting on Nov. 21. VFP
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